2017-08-09 / Front Page

Council To Make Final Offer To Trustees For Fire Equipment

Archbold Village Council voted Monday, Aug. 7, to make one last offer to purchase the Archbold Fire Department equipment from the German Township Trustees.

“I don’t think it will hurt anything” to make the offer, said Vaughn Bentz, a councilman.

Council voted to offer the trustees $537,075 for the equipment.

Council and the township trustees, who own the fire equipment, have been involved in negotiations since council decided to take over full control of the department in 2016.

The trustees have balked at the offers, preferring the current arrangement.

Property owners in German Township, including those within the village limits, pay taxes to purchase the equipment– from fire trucks to firefighters’ personal protective gear.

Village officials determined that 65% of the money to purchase the equipment came from village property owners.

Therefore, the village offer to the trustees is 35% of the depreciated value of the fire equipment.

Council is considering purchasing new fire equipment if it can’t reach an agreement with the township trustees.

The council finance committee, made up of Bentz, Ed Leininger, and Kevin Morton, met Wednesday, Aug. 2, and discussed a strategy for its next move.

Also attending were Jeff Fryman, mayor, and Donna Dettling, village administrator.

Not All On Board

Kenny Cowell, a councilman, said he personally thought one more offer to the trustees “is a waste of time.”

“If they say no, it hasn’t changed anything,” said Kevin Eicher, a councilman.

At the finance committee meeting, it was suggested the council could “sweeten the pot,” adding more money to its offer.

Figures of up to $850,000 were discussed.

Purchasing new or used fire equipment could cost $2 million.

Bentz brought up the idea of adding additional money to the offer at council, but Eicher said he didn’t back that idea.

“There’s no sense sweetening the pot. We’ve sweetened it every time. It’s not going to work,” Eicher said.

“(The final offer) will go in the Williams County Landfill,” Eicher said.

Leininger said Morton, who was absent, suggested making a formal, final offer to the trustees. The trustees would be required to respond with a formal letter, which would serve to document their rejection.

Bentz said the offer to the trustees is “well thought-out, based on facts and figures.”

The trustees, he said, want a 30-year guarantee of fire protection from the village.

Council has said it cannot give such a guarantee, because the trustees can’t guarantee the fire levies that support their share of fire protection services will always pass.

Election

Bentz told council there was discussion at the finance committee meeting about waiting until after the Nov. 7 general election takes place.

Two German Township trustees and three councilmen have terms expiring at the end of 2017.

“There could be a different board of trustees, as well as a different council” in place, Bentz said.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what takes place.”

A new board of trustees “could sell us the equipment for $1 or decide to take the $537,000,” Leininger said.

Fryman called for a motion to make the final offer to the trustees. Eicher made the motion; Bentz provided the second.

Cowell voted against the final offer. Eicher, Leininger, Brian Huffman, and Bentz voted in favor.

Meetings

Archbold Village Council next meets Monday, Aug. 21, 7 pm, in council chambers.

Council changed its meeting dates in September and October to the second and fourth Mondays, rather than the traditional first and third.

Meeting dates will be Sept. 11 and 25, and Oct. 9 and 23.

Return to top